Black Moss Press

Second of five poems from Michael Mirolla for Poetry Month 2021

Day two of our featured poetry from Michael Mirolla’s book At the End of the World for Poetry Month.

Michael Mirolla


To a Poet Struggling to Recover her Words


Please note: this is not a metaphor.


In the spongy grey room, walls reticulated,

bony chair bolted to upheaving floor,

spotlight at 10 flickers per minute,

she sits. There’s a hole in the side

of her head. There’s a hole where they

extracted the over-eager building blocks,

the out-of-control tidbits of DNA.

The incisions were precise, one must assume.

But it didn’t prevent the words … her words …

from escaping into the sterile air.


Now, a saintly smile framing her face,

she sits in the bony chair inside

the spongy grey room with reticulated walls

and reaches out to recapture

the stray letters that may or may not

have survived without her tender care.


I sit across from her, spoon-feeding

alphabet strands into a hungry mouth

fearful that the words that have kept her whole

that have defined her

that connect her to herself

that have built this grey room

will be unable to make the return journey.


Please note: This has not been a metaphor.

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